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Monday, September 30, 2013

Listia review and information

Auctions for free stuff at Listia.com
I’m still researching various ways to sell, buy, trade or whatever else I can to get rid of what I don’t need here and possibly get the things that I and my family do need. While browsing, I came across this one called Listia. It’s a free service that allows you to “sell” your items for credits instead of cash. Then you use those credits towards things that you and your family want. It works like eBay, but without money. All the winner of your auctions has to pay, is shipping and then you get credits for it. I went ahead and signed up. Right from the start I had over 4,000 credits! I signed up using my Facebook account, I watched their tutorial videos, and I even added some things to my Watch lists. All this adds up when you first join. And I even found things that would be excellent deals if I’m only trading “credits”.
My first listing has been posted. I’m “Giving Away” a lot of my daughters infant clothing that she outgrew.

more free stuff on Listia
I simply added pictures, put in a starting price of how many credits I wanted, picked an option for how they could get the items (in this case, shipping), added a description - Voila! I have a listing. Now to sit back and see what the interest is for it. In todays economy, I think this type of service is going to be invaluable. People struggle to afford things, but everyone has something laying around they don't need. Why not trade it?

Diana Trailer Debut

I do the occasional movie review and the contact I have for them sent me a link to a preview that is being debuted on Yahoo. It's called Diana. As you might have guessed, its about Diana, Princess of Wales. I remember hearing about her death on the news when I was a child. I always thought she was pretty, even if her clothes weren't something I thought a princess should wear. But I never really dove into what her life was like and what things she did - wrong or right. This movie is supposed to be about her life. More so about the affair she had before she died. So after watching the preview, what do you think? Should this movie be a surprise since America tends to watch all things gritty and prying? Should she instead be remembered as the messenger of hope and peace that others want to portray her as? And what do you think the royal family thinks? Leave me a comment below.

TruMoo milk review via Bzz Agent

My kids love chocolate milk. But then… who doesn’t?
As a Bzz Agent, I was given the chance to try and share the experience for TruMoo milk. I've also been sharing the coupons with friends and families so they can try them!
They have dressed up their milk for Halloween this year and not only do they offer chocolate, but they have Vanilla milk that is colored orange!
Both were rich and creamy in taste. There is no syrup that has to be shaken from the bottom of the jug. My kids gave it the thumbs up for taste.
My husband who is hard pressed to drink anything besides soda or Gatorade... even enjoyed both.
Though his favorite would be the chocolate while I lean to the vanilla.
Still, overall we enjoyed it to the last drop.
Want to know more about TruMoo? Check out their website! They provide store locators, nutrition information,
and even a coupon or more that you can sign up to get.
And they are holding a sweepstakes for a Goosebumps Haunted Hollywood Vacation! Look under the cap of the milk and enter a code for your chance to win.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Reading Eggs review via US Family Guide

Recently I mentioned a promotion being sent out from US Family Guide for a website called Reading Eggs. As home schooling mom, I can't tell you how much help this has been for me. It helps your child starting at age three, to learn reading and math skills. The Math Seeds is a new addition to their service.
First you sign up for a trial. The free trial lasts for two weeks I believe. No credit card is required for this. Simply put in basic information like your name and email address. Then you put in your child's name and age. Your child (or children if you have more than one) can take a practice test that allows Reading Eggs to know which level they need to start on. I love this option since you never want to start a child at the basics if they are ready for an advanced level. It causes them to be bored and give up far quicker.
After your child is at the correct level, they can begin their lessons. Its simple but so much fun that my boys actually fought over who could go first. I had to start timing them and keep one of them busy. Then if they both got to computer at the same time, they would tell each other what the answers were. My boys are ages 3 and 4 (almost 5) years old.
I love how the lessons are voiced over by proper English accented people. Although, you might need some good speakers as I've noticed there are a couple words they have said that can be confusing to American English speaking children. It does remind me of how awful I pronounce some words, being raised in the South....
As the child goes through the lessons and completes sections, they are awards Eggs. These Eggs can be used to purchase items for their "home" and avatar as well as games they can play at the Arcade.
The avatar can be personalized to whatever they want it to be with the many things they offer. After completing so many sections, they are awarded "pets" that live in the garden next to their home.
When we first signed up, I had them using my laptop hooked up to our TV. Then my husband pulled out an older computer for them to use.
There are many other things they can do besides the lessons.
 Start with this, then you can go to the Lessons, to a Playroom with music and exploration options, the Music Café that has songs from the lessons and games they play, and so much more! It really does give them hours of learning fun.

So if you want to check it out and see more about them, check out their website. Look it over closely. They have even been emailing me offers for 16-50% off to sign up for the service after my trial ends. Pricing is for 6 or 12 month subscriptions that have various options.
Its really great if you need help as a home schooling parent or even if your child just needs an extra boost like they would have with tutoring. They have also added the ability to take it on the go with apps for the iPhone and iPad! They have various apps that are free and some that you can purchase. I've been putting them on my kids iPad for those trips where they get bored.

The only issue I had with them, was that at times, it wouldn't load. Mostly the Math Seeds. After I contacted them, I found out that they work better with Google Chrome or an updated version of Windows. My boys computer hasn't been updated yet, so that was something they had to do on my laptop. The help desk sent an email that was detailed with instructions on how to fix the problem:
Please note that there are currently some known issues with Mathseeds working on a few web browsers.  Although this is a temporary situation (our tech team is hard at work making sure the program is fully compatible across all browsers), we understand that you would like to use the program immediately.  Please see below (and please read each step in succession) for a list of web browsers and possible solutions towards your problem(s):
I.  Please make sure that you are using  the latest version of your respective browser available for your operating system (Windows Vista and higher or MAC OSX 10.6 and higher)

a.  If you are using the latest version of your browser and it is still not functioning properly, we recommend downloading and installing Google Chrome (www.google.com/chrome)
II.  If you are using Internet Explorer Version 6, 7, 8, or 9, and can’t upgrade, don’t want to upgrade, or don’t want to change your browser, please download and install Google Chrome Frame which can be located here (http://www.google.com/chromeframe?prefersystemlevel=true).  This is just a plug in that will make your browser compatible.
III.  If you are using Safari Browser or Mozilla Firefox and still experiencing problems, please note that at this time, the best solution is to download and install Google Chrome as instructed above.
IV.  If you are using the latest version of Google Chrome and still having problems, please see below:
Open a Private browsing session in Chrome (ctrl+shift+n) and try the program >> If that works then clear your cache and try again in a non-private session>> If the problem persists, try disabling your extensions: 
a.  Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
b.  Select Tools.
c.  Select Extensions.
d.  disable everything
If this works, then you'll need to turn them on, one by one to see which one is affecting the program.
V.  If you have exhausted ALL options provided above and still experience technical problems, please click here, enter your name & email address and press “Send Details.”  This will provide us with a brief look at your system information so that we can provide an accurate response. 

You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Wordpress and on Study Island. Let me know what you think and if you would consider something like this for your child!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Discount from Gilt Candles

Gilt Candles is a new company that just opened up. They have candles with rings embedded in them that value anywhere from $15 - over $5,000! So you can light one up and have a fragrant home, plus have an added bonus of a beautiful ring.
I wasn't able to review one this time around, but they did give me a discount for any of you who might be interested. They gave me the code scfall20 for 20% off your cart. This code expires on October 31st, 2013 so don't wait too long!
These candles are made from 100% natural Soy and Beeswax.
Also, if you like them on Facebook, you can watch for their giveaways. Getting engaged? Want some help from Gilt? They have a special offer you should check out here. So check them out and tell me what you think!  

Disney's FROZEN

Who else watches Disney movies? They are in the process of producing a new animated one.
This is called FROZEN.

You can check for updates about it on their Facebook page or Twitter. They also have a website. It's scheduled to hit theaters November 27th.
Official Boilerplate for the movie: Walt Disney Animation Studios, the studio behind “Tangled” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” presents “Frozen,” a stunning big-screen comedy adventure. Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ChildProtect dna analysis review via US Family Guide

I recently wrote about a promotion via US Family Guide for a service from DNA called ChildProtect. Solving crimes is a complex thing that can be moved along and sped up by having certain tools on hand. A DNA analysis is one such tool. When minutes to hours are critical, having your child’s DNA markers ready for law enforcement helps them rule out DNA found at the scene and move on to identifying unknown DNA.
This kit that they send is simple. There is space to keep important information such as name, date of birth, physical markers (birth marks, scars, etc.), nicknames and so on. There is a diagram to mark places on the body that are identifiable. This part you fill out and keep on hand in a safe place (like the safe).

The other part that you send back is a detachable envelope. Inside there are cheek swabs. You swab inside of each cheek for a few seconds. Place it inside the envelope, making sure not to touch the wet end. Then you send it back.
They pay for return shipping. I was a little worried about the envelope as the saliva from the swabs was seeping through it. I don’t know how they protect to make sure that nothing seeps into the envelope and contaminates the samples. Another thing that bugged me, was how long it took. I sent it and waited the 7-10 business days and then waited some more. I checked online thinking I missed the email and needed to check the login page. Finally I received the email that my results were ready. I had an issue checking the results, but after emailing them they fixed it within a day and I got my results.
DDC emails a certificate with the markers outlined and the child’s name on it. I would prefer a real hard copy of the results, as it seems more professional than something I have to print out. They offer the service of having the DNA stored as well as keeping the results online and available for your access for a fee.
Fox News' own Dr. Manny Alvarez has shared information on the importance concerning DNA Fingerprinting. Information provided was, "DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC) uses our state-of-the-art, accredited laboratory to construct the DNA profile. Once completed, a certificate of results is created and signed by one of our PhD's. The certificate provides key genetic markers that police use for investigations."
It’s not that bad an idea and could be worth your while in case anything happened involving your child. They do have other services such as paternity tests, immigration DNA tests, forensic testing, adoption testing and more you could check into.  They do have the offer for $50 off using the code Family50. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think about this service.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Acure review

Having healthy, moisturized skin is just as important to me as having healthy, vibrant hair. Your skin protects you from the outside elements. In these summer months, I've let my face go a bit. And it's beginning to show. Florida is hot and very humid. Though there is moisture in the air, it dries out your skin. It's important to always stay hydrated and well moisturized. However, using just any lotions, cleansers, primers or products can be damaging to your skin rather than good. I recently received products to try for a review from Acure. They claim to have "ACURE for your skin * ACURE for the planet". They sent me a variety of things to try. Of course, the day or two before I get them, I get sunburned from a trip to the pool without sunscreen...
First thing I tried of course was the Oil Control Facial Moisturizer (which my face desperately needed after the burn). It didn't take a lot to douse my face with and the moisturized feeling stayed all day while at work. Normally my forehead would begin to oil up within 3 or so hours. Not with this stuff. I don't sport that shiny glow too when I use this. And even while walking about outside in the heat and humidity, it's still not drying out or oiling up. Its lilac scent is my favorite. It hydrates and prevents oil-causing sheen breakouts.
The next thing I used was the Facial Cleansing Crème in the Argan oil and mint scent. I love the fresh scent while I'm washing my face! I felt refreshed and clean. I’ve also noticed a good difference in my pores.

*After cleansing my face, before going to work*
I hate having to wash and then condition my hair. I know they are both cleansing and such, but it takes too long. I’m a home schooling mother of three who works part time, is now volunteering as an instructor for Sea Cadets and then I write this blog. Plus there are all the other daily needs I have to attend to. Showers are quick and practical. Conditioning is optional. I usually just want to use a 2 in 1. But I got to try an alternative that I really enjoyed. The Leave-In Conditioner is quick and easy to use. It comes in spray form so there is no worry of having oily, greasy, conditioned fingers afterward as some brands can leave you feeling. Just a couple quick squirts and I can be on my way. I also like that it has detangling abilities. My hair is getting longer and it's thick, coarseness makes it prone to knots. The scent I received is minty with a hint of the Argan oil.
*After being at work all afternoon/evening*
Lastly, I also had the seriously hydrating Facial Toner. It also comes in spray form. You simply mist your face with this and it begins hydrating throughout the day. Its scent is that of Argan oil with mint I believe. When you use this with the cleanser, they make a great pair. Clean and hydrated face that lasts all day!
Overall, I’m beginning to like the minty smell. I’ve gotten things with the Argan oil and thought, no way will I use that! But these were different. Its subtle and blended so well that you won’t notice it. Lilac is strong, but something I’ve always loved. Using it in the moisturizer is great. My favorite of these four would have to be the moisturizer followed closely by the leave-in conditioner.

These products are vegan, sulfate free, cruelty free, synthetic fragrance free, paraben free, petroleum free, phthalate free, silicone free, gluten free, won't clog your pores, 100% biodegradable, and made right here in the United States.

Check them out and don’t forget to leave me a comment about what you think. Acure provides products for your face, body, lips, and hair. I like the fact their website organizes the products by your skin type as well. If you want to find an online retailer, they have several listed or you can purchase directly from their website. You can also check them out on Twitter and Facebook.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Turketarians Unite Butterball party via House Party

Tonight was a huge success! Why? I hosted my very first House Party. It was from Butterball and all about Turketarians Uniting!
They sent a huge party pack filled with reusable bags, coupons,
magnet sets,
footballs, a recipe book, a turkey hat,
an apron, cards about the new app Butterball has, a timer that is magnetic so I can hang it on the refrigerator, a Frisbee, plates, cups, and even napkins.
And then of course there was the $40 gift card to buy Butterball products to prepare for my guests.
We planned everything out to maximize the fun and food experiences.
I used the reusable bags as goodie bags to put all the things for my guests in. My husband wore the apron and hat while cooking,
until the kids came and wanted to wear the hat (Mr. Gobbles). There are some amazing recipes both in the book and the app. I downloaded the app, which if you haven't checked it out - you should! You can pick recipes, save them, then it will create a shopping list for you so you know what to get next time you go to the store. I LOVE it!
The night before the party, we set up everything. We bought a blue table cloth and some yellow and blue streamers.
I printed out some of the Butterball logos and the Turketarians Unite logo to hang and post around as well.
The day of the party, we cooked everything we had made a menu for: spaghetti with turkey
(my meatballs came out poorly since I can't make meatballs to save my life), turkey bacon covered nachos
 turkey tacos
(one of the favorites), and cheesy turkey and rice casserole
(tied for first place with the tacos in the favorites).
Snacks for those waiting were crackers stacked with either deep fried deli turkey slices or garlic and herb chicken slices and cheese.
We had two families come with kids everywhere.
Everyone ate to their fullness and had a wonderful time.
We discussed recipes, tastes and surprise at some of the products they didn't know existed from Butterball.
When everyone was ready to head home (well after the planned 2 hours),
I handed out goodie bags to the adults and the footballs to the kids.
The food was great. The bacon looks strange but tastes pretty good still. The turkey breast cooks juicier than the chicken and tastes so good. Ground turkey is nothing new here. We actually prefer using it since it isn't as greasy as beef.
Don't forget to leave me a comment on what you think as I love to hear from you! Thanks for reading.